Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

I was very pleased to see the Listography back again, run by Kate Takes 5. This weeks topic is your top 5 simple Pleasures. With my state of mind as it is, I don’t get much pleasure from anything at the moment, so it took a bit of time to think about it, but I did come up with some things that actually do give me a small sense of pleasure for that short time.

1. Breakfast in Peace.

There used to be a time when I could get up, shower, and come downstairs and eat breakfast alone, checking my emails, Facebook and the news on my iPhone. It was lovely, even though it only lasted maybe 10 mins, that peaceful time set me up well for the morning and helped me deal with the family squabbles. Unfortunately of late my youngest has learnt to come out of her room once I open my door, she is full of beans and ready for the day ahead. I struggled along, eating breakfast with her interspersed with the other 2 joining us and also wanting breakfast, until I realised that if I sorted her and her siblings out whilst making lunch for them and once all that was sorted then ate my breakfast I would get some peace. So I do get a little peace, but I do long for that 10 mins that I used to get, maybe one day the youngest and the other 2 will stay in bed long enough for me to get that again?

2. A Long Shower

During the school / working week I get up before NJ and get showered, sometimes I am still trying to wake myself up, but mostly I am thinking of the day ahead and knowing that I need to get a move on as no one else will move until I do! And then often on a weekend we are also rushing to get out for something or other (these days it’s football on a Sunday morning), so I don’t get the nice relaxing shower that I long for. What I really like is when we are having a lazy day, or we are going out (and plans are going well), and I can spend time just relaxing in the shower just enjoying the hot water!

3. A Peaceful Family Meal

We don’t get to sit and eat as a family very often as NJ works late, so it tends to be weekends and holidays, however most of those meals end up with bickering from the kids, or me and NJ nagging one of the kids to eat properly (or just eat in TJ’s case!), it’s just so nice when we do manage a meal that is peaceful and relaxing. This actually happened yesterday (Thursday), as NJ was off work for 2 days for half-term holidays we decided to treat the kids to a McDonalds (ok it was really for me!), for the first time in ages TJ actually sat and ate, and the other 2 ate nicely and we came out of the restaurant (never feels right calling it a restaurant!) feeling full, relaxed and happy.

4. A Glass of Red Wine

I’m sure I am not the only one who gets a little pleasure from a nice glass of red wine? I have spent much of the last 3.5 years not being able to drink alcohol due to my medication and those times when I did drink I found myself so tired tired that I didn’t enjoy it. However over the last few months I have been able to indulge and there was nothing nicer on a Friday or Saturday evening once the kids were all in bed to sit down, turn the lights down and then relax with a nice glass of red wine. Unfortunately a change of meds this past week means that I will once again have to be teetotal!

5. A Tidy House

If you have read any of my blog you will know that I am not good at housework, but I do long to have a tidy house. Some days it does happen, and today was one of them. I managed to give the kitchen a good clean, the living room is tidy and so is the dining area. It always makes me feel more relaxed but it is so hard to achieve.

So what are your top 5 simple pleasures?

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Goals

Goals

I have realised that I need to have some goals in my life, I need to have something to aim for, some thing for me.

Since 2002 I have been trying to get pregnant, been pregnant or had a baby to look after. I still have to look after the kids (and the husband), but there will be no more babies, which means I don’t have to think about that. Even before that time I was thinking about getting married and then before that was Uni, A-Levels and GCSE’s. I’ve always had a goal of some description, but now I seem to be lacking in having any direction.

I had a meeting recently with my business mentor, and I have got some business goals and I feel good about them, as it’s my own business I should feel like I have something to work towards, but it’s not helping.

I don’t even know what I want, what will help, what will make me feel like I have something to live for? Yes I know I have my kids and my husband and I guess that should be enough, but as the youngest goes to school in September I will be at a loose end during the school day. NJ (Hubby) would probably say I could use the time to get the house sorted, which I could, but I don’t think I would feel fulfilled, but maybe I would?

So Goals, what can I aim for?

My business goals are to get a team working with me over the next 12 months and to get to the next level in my business.

My personal goals are less clear. Maybe doing a weekly goal would help?

So this weeks goal (Thur to Wed) will be to get all the washing and ironing up to date – and if you saw my pile of ironing you’d understand why it’s a big goal!

If anyone has any good suggestions for long term goals that may help me feel more like a living person, rather than just existing, please let me know.

I’m linking this up to Kate on Thin Ice and her Groovy Mums post.

My Week in Pictures Week 1 #365Project

My Week in Pictures Week 1 #365Project

On New Years day I started the challenge of taking a picture a day with the 365 Project, so this is my first week of pictures.

Week 1

 

I never expected it to be that hard to find pictures to take, but it is actually really hard. So far all my pictures have been taken with my iPhone, so they are not brilliant pictures, but maybe by the end of the year I will have got better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rainy Days – ColourMeInRK

Rainy Days – ColourMeInRK

Yes I know, we are not having rainy days at the moment (I think  that is all set to change by the weekend!), but the clever people at Kellogg’s have replaced their usual Rice Krispies box for one that can be coloured in by your bored children on the inevitable rainy days that will come and that we have had!

I was one of the lucky Britmums who got sent a big box of Rice Krispies and an excellent bumper colouring case with 58 different pens, pencils, glitter glues and markers. I was very excited when the box arrived, I’m not sure who was more excited about the colours, the kids or me, as it had those colour changing pens that I have not seen since I was a child, I still think they are great and if you get the chance to buy some, your kids will agree.

As there are 3 children in this house, I knew that there would be an argument about who coloured in the box, so before they were given anything I went to the Rice Krispies Website  and downloaded some more pictures and printed them to card for the older 2 and to paper for the youngest. I told them they could colour in these however they wanted and then the 2 older ones would have to do the box together, although as the end of term came and cards for teachers had to be made and then the weather has turned the box is yet to be finalised!

They were as excited as I was about the colour changing pens, and got down to colouring straight away, I have to say it was lovely seeing them so engrossed in a project and excited about colouring in Snap, Cackle and Pop!

AJ finished her creation first, and I think she made a very good job of it, what do you think?

FJ wasn’t too far behind, a full range of different colours, what else would you expect from a 5yr old?

And finally TJ, she got bored quite quickly with the colouring in, especially as I wasn’t allowing her to use the new pens, she is far safer with the crayola washable pens, that are truly washable (they even wipe off with baby wipes!) especially when she decides to colour in her face. (she is after all only 2).

I think these activities are great even if the sun is out as when the heat gets too much the children still need something to occupy them, I think next time we might even try sticking sequins or felt or some other material on them and see what we come out with.

This post is for the BritMums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kellogg’s, why not pop over to Britmums and see how you could join in too?

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Baby Steps

I’ve been AWOL recently with linking up to Groovy Mums, it was nothing personal, I just didn’t seem able to blog for awhile. I am now back to it and have an urge to keep writing.

In a change from my normal Groovy Mums posts I am not going to respond to the challenges, I may do that later in the month.

In an attempt to ‘find me’ I have decided to take on a couple of new ventures / responsibilities, by taking these on it means that I will hopefully find time for me and not just the mummy / wife person that I have become.

I am now the treasurer of the local Baby & Toddler group, it is not a huge undertaking, except a bank account needs setting up as the last one was closed 12 months ago and a new one never got opened. Which I am pleased to say is under way, with my fear of forms I rang the bank up and it was completed over the phone so now there just needs to be signatures put on and some information sent and then it will be all done. On a weekly basis I just need to tot up the weekly subs and make sure that anyone who needs paying (rent, refreshments, craft etc) is paid and go to committee meetings. Up till now the group has been fairly laid back, so I hope I am not too organising for them, I just can’t seem to help myself and it makes me feel good when I start to organise things! It is just a pity that I can’t organise myself and my house in the same way!

My other venture is truly just for me, no child involved, as I will be selling Phoenix Cards it is truly an excellent way for me to get back into doing a small amount of work with no pressure to reach targets. Many of the home selling companies want you to make so much money within so many weeks and that is something I wouldn’t be able to do or commit to doing. With Phoenix Cards you sell as and when you want and put in as much or as little effort as you want. I plan to start small by selling to friends and family and the toddler group and then as TJ gets older and spends more time at playgroup I may be able to go to other local groups and sell to them too. I know that to start with I will make very little money, but it will be something that I am doing and it will hopefully keep my mind ticking over and feel a little more involved with life that I have done for quite some time.

So I am taking baby steps towards some normality and hopefully in a couple of months time when the school holidays are over and my venture has begun I will be able to come back to Groovy Mums and report that things are going well, but please do not hold your breath as life has a funny way of making things difficult for me these days.

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Flashback – Five Years Ago

I have by most people’s standards been rubbish with blogging over the last 6 weeks, actually rubbish is probably too tame as I haven’t managed to publish anything since my Lonely Illness post in mid may. I have tried on several occasions to write but nothing has been completed. So when I saw the BritMums prompt I thought this was as good a time as any to put fingers to keyboard and actually do something.

“Flashback! We want you to look back to FIVE YEARS AGO and share what your life was like. What was going on? Who was in your life? Who WASN’T in your life? What did you look like? Where were you going? It doesn’t have to be a specific date but simply FIVE years ago.”

2007 started okay, FJ was a baby but he went into his own room shortly after Christmas and slept through quite quickly after that, looking at baby pictures of him from that time makes me smile, he was such a happy smiley baby and AJ seemed to love having a baby around.

I was still on Mat leave, but I didn’t go to any baby clubs, or mums and tots groups. I think I stayed in touch with some friends so visited them often, but other than that I must have stayed at home with FJ. AJ would have been a pre-school so I would have been taking daily journeys up there but as we have not been in the village that long I still was finding my feet and searching for friends (but not very hard!).

At the end of April I had to return to work, an event I wasn’t looking forward to, my job had changed and I was no longer working with just one team, I was now working with 4 teams, and what was wanted from me was never realistically going to happen. I found myself often upset with what had happened with my post and with the way I was being reacted to from other admin staff who I was being forced upon as their senior. I followed this up with meetings and also spoke to HR as I felt I had been pushed into a situation I wasn’t happy with whilst on mat leave. It was something that continued to be an issue for quite some time, but that’s another story!

In June we ventured off to France for what was to be our last out of term time holiday as AJ was starting school in September, the weather wasn’t great so not many beach days and then the car broke down! We ended up having to fly home via 2 plane journeys and lots of luggage (you take what you want when you go by car!) It was a stressful time but NJ who now writes over at Loads of Things tells the story so well I will let you read the story over there Holiday Travel.

As the holiday wasn’t brilliant, we booked a holiday to Center Parcs, for the first week in September as AJ wasn’t starting school till the following week. All was looking good.

Then towards the end of August NJ started feeling unwell, he had suffered with flu in the past (usually in the summer), he recognised the signs and took himself off to bed. It was hard work looking after him, a 9 month old and a 4 year old, I was also at work 3 days a week. I have to admit to not being the most sympathetic of people, so left him to himself, just made sure he had drinks and food and any pain killers he might want. Gradually he started feeling worse, I don’t know who made the decision but the dr was called and luckily they agreed to a home visit. After checking him the dr walked down with a grave face and I jokingly said “so he’s not going to die then?” he said not yet, but he is very ill and he needs these antibiotics ASAP!

His condition didn’t improve and after my mum suggested speaking to NHS direct (I guessed she must be concerned as she doesn’t normally fuss) a call was made and from what I said, and quite probably the noisy children in the background an ambulance was called. From then on I went into survival mode, I dealt with what was thrown at me, and stayed calm. I called a friend to look after the kids and joined NJ at the hospital. He was asked several times in A&E if he smoked, and the reply was always no, not anymore, we were later to discover that all his lungs were full of fluid and he only had a very small space left to breath, eventually he was sent onto a ward, into a side room that seemed grimy and horrible, and then nurse came to take his pulse etc., but she couldn’t get his blood pressure, blaming it on the equipment (later we discovered his blood pressure was dangerously low!). Apparently the Dr was on the way, but there was no idea knowing when that would be. I had to leave at midnight to get back for the kids, so just made sure that the ward was aware of my contact numbers and headed home. As expected I struggled to sleep, and then got a phone call at 5.30am to say that NJ was being taken to ICU and it was suggested that I came in, unfortunately as I had the kids and NJ’s parents and brother were away there was little I could do for at least another hour, and for some bizarre reason I thought I could go back to sleep! I didn’t and rang my mum at 6 in the morning and she agreed to come up asap, but as she lived over 1.5hrs away and needed to sort out cat care it was going to be a few hours. By the time I had arranged friends to look after the kids and got to the hospital I was getting another phone call from the hospital (nothing like keeping you calm!). I got into ICU (I hate the smell of hospitals now) to find NJ wired up to loads of drips and struggling to breath, then he was being whisked away to have an MRI scan, the thing that scared me the most was the resuscitation pack that was taken with them.

He spent 6 days in ICU, gradually getting better, and thankfully not needing any surgery, he had suffered with Pneumonia, and then contracted Sepis, his blood was starting to poison itself. Fortunately they had drugs that helped him (like gold dust apparently) and after another 6 days on a normal ward he was allowed home to recuperate. It was a difficult time, but I was really helped by my family, my mum and dad stayed for a few days and then my sister cut short her holiday to also help out with the kids as I spent most of the days whilst he was in ICU up at the hospital. I stayed composed and just kept going, I don’t think I ever really dealt with or recognised what might have happened.

Whilst NJ recovered I had to basically do everything, all the childcare, keeping the house tidy and clean, all the meals and go to work 3 days a week. I struggled mentally, but never really did much about it, I did speak to the HV, but all she asked was would I feel okay if I got some sleep! I had to sort out FJ’s first birthday party, as we had with AJ’s first birthday we wanted family and close friends to come, I remember not being happy with my mum as she said it was too difficult for them to come as she didn’t want to have to drive there and back in one day and she couldn’t afford to stay somewhere, at the time it was very upsetting, but on the actual birthday things were fine.

As the year came to an end NJ dropped a bombshell he had been asked to leave his work, he was going to get a good settlement, but it still meant that he would need to look for something else and if he didn’t get anything after 3 months things were going to be very tough. In hindsight it was the best thing that happened to him, he was much happier and there seemed to be far less stress.

So 2007 was an eventful year, and quite possibly a start to my depression that I now suffer with, thankfully NJ is in full health, and we still have a story to tell when asked about the year.

On Reflection

On Reflection

The end of April has come and with it the end of the A to Z Challenge.

The challenge has been harder than I anticipated, sometimes I didn’t manage to blog on the actual day, and the last few days of April were made more difficult by no internet access and then our new kitten having to be put to sleep.

I am pleased that I managed to complete the challenge, with all posts being positive, I only signed up a day or two before it started so I had not had time to plan or pre-schedule any posts. Next year I would plan ahead, I would try to have a theme of sorts, and have some posts pre-scheduled, especially if it falls over Easter again.

I was disappointed with the number of visitors, as I did not see any increase in my numbers and there where very few comments, I didn’t take up the challenge just to get more views, but I had hoped more people would look and see what I had to say. I have got a few more followers though, and that is great.

I do have an apology too, I usually try to reply to all my comments, but during the challenge I just didn’t seem to have the hours in the day to blog and reply, especially as for 2 weeks the children were on school holiday. I have also not visited the people who have started to follow me, another thing which I like to do. I do intend to go back over all my comments and reply, and also see who has followed me, so if you were one of them please just be patient, time keeps running away from me.

After looking through my posts, they do appear to get shorter as the month progresses, another thing that I will have to work harder at next year, I also can not pin point one post that stands out for me, maybe others could suggest which they liked the most?

I managed to visit half of all the blogs that were on the list and I guess if people did the same as me, starting at the beginning of the list, it goes someway to explain why I didn’t get loads of visitors as I was somewhere near the end.

So on reflection I enjoyed the challenge, it’s given me an insight into how else I can blog and not just about mental health. I will take part next year, but will have a plan in place and be more organised.

Any comments on my take of the challenge would be great,  I’d love to know what people thought so next year I can make any necessary improvements.